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MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.3

MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.3

It was another very solid night for the Rotation as nobody got really blown up. Max Scherzer wasn’t good for his price, but we talked about he was the plug and play option in cash. At 65%, he didn’t hurt you in that format. Zac Gallen continues to prove why he’s in play every single start by dominating the Dodgers, and Triston McKenzie was on point. Maybe there’s reasons Cleveland wasn’t holding onto Mike Clevinger for dear life. We’ll get to him later in MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.3 as he might be prominent on just a six game slate that locks at 4 PM!

Cash Options

Clayton Kershaw

Pitch Data – FB – 30th SL – 6th CB 11th

I made an off-hand comment on a live stream a few weeks ago about Kershaw being a safe option on that particular slate. I guess Kershaw didn’t appreciate that, because he has been that guy most of 2020. The K rate is just under 30% and the ERA is 1.80. That’s likely a hair misleading since Kershaw has a 100% strand rate but there’s also no reason to expect major regression either.

He’s throwing the slider over 40%, which might seem like a bad match vs Arizona. However, Kershaw is in the top 20 of slider value on FanGraphs rating. Eight of the pitchers rated ahead are relievers, so he’s 11th among starters. The D-Backs only have a 19.4% K rate but they also sport a .287 wOBA and .107 ISO vs LHP. That was with Starling Marte, who is now in Miami. Kershaw is the lock and load cash pitcher on a six game slate.

Mike Clevinger

Pitch Data – FB – 26th SL – 16th CB – 12th CH – 15th

I’m not overly in love with Clevinger here, but playing cash it’s important to match ownership. I would have to imagine Clevinger is a very popular SP2 paired with Kershaw with a lack of alternatives. Now, the pitch data actually doesn’t look all that bad for Clevinger. He’s pitching for the Padres for the first time so we don’t know exactly how prepared he is as far as off the field stuff. Moving from Cleveland to San Diego is a big change. Still, Clevinger is easily one of the most talented pitchers on this slate.

The Angels continue to not be a big strikeout team at just 21.3%. Clevinger has seen his K rate plummet this season to just 22.6%, down over 10% from last season. His walks are up as well but hopefully he embraces a fresh start. He’s been slightly better to RHH even though both sides are over a .330 wOBA. The Angels are projected for seven RHH so Clevinger is a fine option for cash, though there’s risk involved.

GPP Options

Dylan Cease

Pitch Data – FB – 17th SL – 24th CH – 27th CB – 26th

If we see Cease picking up some steam in ownership for cash, I would be fine replacing Clevinger in that format. You can argue Cease has been the safer pitcher as it is, although they’ve both had one bad start. The fear with Cease is his K rate has plummeted as well, to a measly 17.6%. He’s still walking a ton of hitters as well at 11.8% and that’s not typically the profile I want for $9,500.

Both sides of the plate are over a .345 wOBA, which is pretty scary. The Royals are 24th in walk rate which hopefully limits the downside for Cease in that facet. They also have a projected five RHH, which Cease at least gets to a 22% K rate. Both he and Clevinger have some frightening metrics, which is why I prefer Clevinger in cash and Cease in GPP as things stand.

Taijuan Walker

Pitch Data – FB – 12th SL – 19th SF – 26th CB – 7th

Do I trust Walker? Not even a little bit. Is he worth the gamble on this mess of a pitching slate under $5,000? You bet. I’ll reiterate that MLB DFS: Starting Rotation 9.3 is tough today. He’s another pitcher that I’ll be interested to see what happens for ownership. Will the masses be willing to risk putting him with Kershaw in cash? I lean no, but it could be something that happens. There’s not a pitcher I love for today, so may as well spend a hitter’s salary on one.

Now in fairness, Walker really hasn’t been that bad this year. The ERA is 3.27 and the FIP and xFIP are both under 5.00, at least. The K rate is average at just 21.2% but Boston does whiff 25.1% of the time to RHP. Walker has displayed big splits this year. RHH have only a .209 wOBA while the left side has a .382 wOBA. Boston is projected for only four lefties, one of which is Jonathan Arauz. If Walker can get you to 12-15 DK, he’s a worthy investment.

Monkey Knife Fight Picks

Since this is a pitching based article, we don’t talk about offenses too much unless we’re attacking them. It’s a great time to sign up with our link to monkeyknifefight.com and make some bets yourself that are based on offense!

The Indians and Padres have hit for us the last two nights so let’s keep it going! We’re heading to Philly today because Zach Eflin (don’t call me Efron) is pitching. The one thing Eflin cannot do is get lefty hitters out. They have racked up a .372 average, 1.181 OPS, .488 wOBA and a 2.89 HR/9 through 50 at-bats this season. With those kinds of ratios, it’s time to attack him with Nationals LHH!

Let’s get it tonight my friends!

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